Heroic Melbourne captain Max Gawn has paid tribute to his predecessor Nathan Jones for being a “bigger man” than him, with Jones relinquishing his premiership dreams and returning to Melbourne for the birth of his twins, as injured key defender Steven May declared he was “no chance” of missing the grand final.
Jones, who’s played one game since round seven, has struggled to break back into the team with the Demons launching a premiership tilt in the second half of the season.
After the Demons obliterated Geelong in the preliminary final on Friday night, Jones has made the decision to return home to be with his wife for the birth of their twin children.
Jones, 33, has played 302 games and will go down as one of the greatest Melbourne players of the modern era.
″If we have seen the last of him, I’m not sure what his plans are for next year. He’s not going to put the pressure on [the Demons], he’s going to stand up and say, ‘No, I want to be there for the birth of my twins’.
“So he’s going back to Melbourne … and he’s a bigger man than me. It’s a tough decision, he really wants to see the birth of his twins and he also really wants to see a flag. But, obviously, one thing comes first in this incredible situation that we’re in with COVID and borders.
“I think he saw he’d done potentially all he can to get a game. Let’s say it was a three of four per cent chance that he was going to get a game this week and he’d rather be with the twins.”
Meantime, May has declared himself a certain starter for the grand final in a fortnight, despite being subbed out of Friday night’s preliminary final with a right hamstring injury.